Card-happy referee comes under fire after Glasgow’s Pro14 win over Edinburgh

Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie was pleased with his team's victory against Edinburgh at Scotstoun. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie was pleased with his team's victory against Edinburgh at Scotstoun. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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Glasgow coach Dave Rennie said the five yellow cards dished out in last night’s 1872 Cup clash were not a fair representation on a match which his side won 20-16 at Scotstoun.

Young SRU referee Ben Blain went to his pocket regularly through a game which was hard-fought but certainly not overly indisciplined.

“I don’t think that’s a reflection of the game,” said the coach, whose side can now reclaim the trophy if they follow up with victory in the second match of three between the sides at BT Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon.

Ruaridh Jackson and George Turner for the home side and the visiting trio of Bill Mata, Stuart McInally and Nic Groom also spent ten minutes on the sidelines.

“I don’t know how Jacko got a yellow card for jumping in the air [and impeding Darcy Graham], but I guess that’s the way they saw it,” continued Rennie. “There was obviously the odd shoulder to the head and a couple of cynical things in the ref’s opinion.

“He calls it the way he sees it. I thought he was certainly strong in those situations for a young referee.”

Rennie, pictured inset, was happy win the win, which was secured after a frantic finish finally saw the tryline breached, with Ali Price scoring for Glasgow before Blair Kinghorn responded to give Edinburgh the lead back. Turner then finished off a late maul for the victory.

“Both sides defended really well. We knew Edinburgh would kick a lot and we were prepared to kick a bit back. I thought we kicked too much at times, especially when we had some opportunities from deep with a number of their big fellas in front of us.

“We showed a lot of character and defended outstandingly well.”

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill agreed with Rennie that it had not been a dirty game.

“It was one of the nicest games physically I’ve been involved in around derby games,” he said. “I’m not sure what Bill Mata went to the bin for – we were winning the penalty count quite comfortably at that point, but he seemed to go to the bin very quickly.

“It was a fiercely contested game. It could have gone either way and they’ve probably done just enough to edge the game.”

Fraser Brown departed with a head knock following the second-half incident which led to McInally’s yellow card.

Rennie reported: “He took a knock to the head from his Edinburgh mate. We’re hopeful he’s going to be all right for next week, but he’s got the protocols to go through.”